It’s March 8th, 2014. We’re here in Bedford and we want you to meet London Oppong. London is one of more than 30 players learning the game at our Black Youth Ice Hockey Program (BYIHP). Working with the Black Ice Hockey & Sports Hall of Fame Society, we launched the BYIHP 12 years ago.

Wilf Jackson is the society president. He’s been a driving force behind the success of the program. He was inspired to get involved after learning about the history of the Colored Hockey League. “The game changed for us and now we just want to get back in the game”, he said.

The goal of the program is simple: to remove barriers and make hockey more accessible for a community that, today, is underrepresented at our Nova Scotia rinks. Zachary Williams is one of the players who has benefited. He took part in the program during the 2012-13 season.

… and over the years, more than 300 young Black Nova Scotians like Chike Uzochukwu have also hit the ice with the BYIHP. Chike was a little older than London and Zachary when he first laced up his skates in 2016. But there’s no denying how quickly he picked up the game.

That brings us to this past weekend. As pointed out by London’s dad Kwabby, a volunteer, all three BYIHP grads were vying for spots on our male under-14 team at our High-Performance Program camp. Certainly a proud moment for those who love the Black Youth Ice Hockey Program.

This story was originally posted as a thread on Twitter by Hockey NS on August 11, 2021.